Aker BP is operator for the Valhall field in the Norwegian North Sea and the Valhall PH facility. The flare boom on the latter lacks the marking and lighting required by the regulations.
Following an earlier application to the PSA, Aker BP was given a temporary exemption from the marking requirements until 1 September 2021.
When the temporary exemption expired, Aker BP applied for it to be made permanent. This request has been turned down by the PSA.
As the position currently stands, Valhall PH therefore has a flare boom which is not marked and lit as required by the regulations. This has consequences for the use of the helideck on the facility and for the way safety is looked after during flying in the dark with helicopters.
On that basis, the PSA has now given Aker BP the following order.
Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, see section 70 of the facilities regulations, see section 34 of the regulations on aviation by helicopter – use of offshore helidecks (FOR-2019-05-14-604), you are ordered to provide
1. an immediate account no later than 21 December 2021 of how safety will be handled during flying in the dark
2. a written explanation no later than 31 January 2022 of how the requirements in the regulations are to be met.
We must be notified when the order has been complied with.
This case has been submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway, which supports the PSA on issues concerning helidecks and helicopter operations.
Valhall is a field in the southern part of the Norwegian sector in the North Sea. The water depth is 70 metres. Valhall was discovered in 1975, and the initial plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1977. The field was originally developed with three facilities for accommodation (QP), drilling (DP) and processing (PCP). Production started in 1982. A PDO for a wellhead facility (WP) was approved in 1995 and for a water injection platform (IP) in 2000. Bridges connect the platforms. A PDO for two wellhead platforms on the northern and southern flanks was approved in 2001. A PDO for Valhall Redevelopment was approved in 2007, and included an accommodation and processing platform (PH) to replace aging facilities on the field. The PH-platform is supplied with power from shore. A PDO for Valhall Flank West was approved in 2018. It includes a normally unmanned wellhead platform.